The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 is one of those rare high-performance vehicles that come around once every few years. Developed by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, the XE SV Project 8 was a way for the brand to push the boundaries of what’s possible. To that end, it looks like Jaguar is continuing to perfect the machine just before it goes into production.
From the beginning, the goal of the XE SV Project 8 was to set the Nurburgring lap record for a sedan. Towards the end of 2016, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio set a blistering lap around the circuit, clocking a time of 7:32. Last November, Jaguar reached its goal with the XE SV Project 8 by circling the Nurburgring in 7:21.23.
While anyone would consider that a victory and end it there, the British automaker isn’t happy with the time. Apparently, before production starts in June, Jaguar is fine-tuning the machine to break its own record around the Green Hell.
“With Project 8 we set out to deliver a fast, fun and engaging car that encourages you to explore its performance,” said Mark Stanton, special vehicle operations director. “Our lap record at the Nurburgring proves we have achieved that, but now we believe we can go faster.”
Small changes will make a big difference
The supercharged 5.0-liter V8 still cranks out 591 hp (441 kW). But, according to David Pook, vehicle dynamics manager for the Project 8, the car has been fitted with stiffer springs and more rigid engine mounts. The suspension arm bushes have also been upgraded. Jaguar has refined the brakes to ensure that they have the right amount of performance and the perfect feel, as well.
While these are relatively small changes, Pook claims that alterations have also been made to the vehicle’s software. And those, at least to him, are major. All of the changes make the car a better package. “They are all small adjustments – to improve performance, feel, responsiveness, refinement,” said Pook.
When the XE SV Project 8 goes on sale, it will become one of the more hardcore road cars. Only 300 units will be made and prices start at £149,995 (roughly $197,618) in the U.K. Two versions of the sedan will be available – a four-seat variant and a more track-focused two-seat Track Pack version.
The latter ditches the rear seats in favor of a solid metal panel and a Harness Retention Hoop. The two-seater also gets carbon fiber racing seats with four-point safety harnesses. These additions help the two-seater shed 26.8 lbs. (12.2 kg) over the regular four-seater and increase torsional rigidity by 27 percent.